Pippa Bell Ader was a member of Westport’s Septic Education Task Force. She says: “In this current situation, many residents may be unaware of the damage certain items can do to septic systems. The last thing anyone needs is a septic failure, especially when we are spending more time at home.
“If you have a septic system, don’t toss paper towels, Kleenex, coffee grounds or non-degradable products such as cat litter, grease or personal hygiene products down the drain or toilet.”
To learn more about the care and maintenance of your septic system, click here for a brochure.
Or — more pleasurably — check out the mockumentary below: “Pump It Up, Baby!” It was written by Westporter Helen Martin Block, and “stars” plenty of local people.
It’s worth watching even if you don’t have a septic system. What else would you today?
Sure, it’s not the usual Rotary fare. If it was, it wouldn’t have made the cut as an “06880”-worthy item.
(Courtesy of North Georgia Water)
Jonathan Steinberg and Helen Martin-Block — 2 members of Westport RTM’s Septic Education Task Force — will tell the Rotarians how they (the task force) function, and how beneficial septic systems are to Westporters who have them, their neighborhoods, and the environment at large.
The septic educators (2 words that never before in history were used together) gave a similar talk yesterday to Westport’s other Rotary Club.
According to Steinberg, some Westporters may be unaware that “the effluent of septic tanks soaks into the ground where naturally occurring bacteria provided by Mother Nature does a magnificent job of purifying it, enabling it to be drawn up from wells and consumed again.”
Speaking of figures: Of Westport’s 10,000 households, 6,000 have septic systems. Their proper care and maintenance directly impacts water quality and the environment.
The Septic Education Task Force hopes its creative approach will “instruct, entertain and lead to improved septic system management practices on a long-term basis.”
(Guests are welcome at tomorrow’s Sunrise Rotary breakfast meeting. The $12 fee includes a breakfast buffet, but no recycled wastewater. For more information, contact president John Hendrickson: email@example.com)
Add to the list: Westport’s Wastewater Management Committee.
Your septic tank at work.
The group — formed a year ago by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff — is charged with keeping the town’s rivers, brooks (and Long Island Sound) clean. I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I am: “Sure, septic water — when filtered through leaching systems, and purifying soil — is very clean. But passing an ordinance mandating homeowners to pump out and inspect their systems every 2 to 5 years — depending on the size of their household and system — seems difficult to enforce, as well as expensive and time-consuming. So how can the Town of Westport ensure that homeowners understand the importance of properly maintaining their septic tanks?”
Great minds think alike! That’s why the Wastewater Management Committee’s public relations task force was created.
Composed of RTM members, town officials and others, the PR group’s charge is to educate Westporters about proper septic maintenance. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, and all that.
The committee started this summer with a 4-page questionnaire. Homeowners are asked about their septic system; how they treat it and manage it, and what they put it in. The answers will show the PR folks what Westporters know — and don’t know — about this important topic.
“Septic systems require live bacteria to do their job,” notes PR task force member Diane Cady. “Bleach, turpentine or harsh chemicals kill the bacteria. We don’t know if most people know that.”
A great start — but not easy. Catching people at home — and getting them to talk — is a challenge. Plus, the committee has virtually no budget. They squeezed $250 out of the Conservation Commission, to pay for lunch and gas for 3 student volunteers to administer the survey.
The task force also plans water purity tests, as another baseline measure.
Public relations people often say, “I don’t care what you say; just spell my name right.”
Sounds good to me. This one is spelled just the way it sounds: S-e-p-t-i-c.
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